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- The American Goliah - 1/10 -

A Wonderful Geological Discovery

A PETRIFIED GIANT Ten And One-Half Feet High Discovered In Onondaga County, N.Y.

[[Wood Cut Here]]

History of the discovery on October 16, 1869, of an image of stone, the same being a perfectly formed and well developed man, descriptions of the petrification, with the opinions of scientific men thereon.

(Entered according to Act of Congress, A.D., 1869, by Redington & Howe, in the Clerk's Office of the Northern District of N.Y.


This pamphlet is the only authorized account of the discovery of the great wonder and the latest facts regarding management; and is the only publication furnished by the owners of the Giant with immediate and authentic information of any examinations, experiments or new developments regarding it. Such new facts will be immediately added to this pamphlet, together with such scientific opinions as may be of interest or value to the public.

The statements herein contained have been taken from the lips of living witnesses on the ground where the events transpired, (excepting where reports are credited to other sources,) and can be depended upon as reliable.

This publication will be found valuable for preservation, as it records perhaps the most important scientific discovery of this century. Certainly the wonder is something that in the whole history of this country has never been exceeded, even if ever equaled.

This pamphlet combines all the important facts as narrated by the newspaper press, in addition to whatever others may occur, placing them in a convenient form for permanent preservation. Cuts are being prepared, illustrating, the various points of interest.

The Trade supplied by Redington & Howe, on liberal terms, to whom all orders (either wholesale or retail) should be addressed.


On Saturday forenoon, Oct. 16th, 1869, William C. Newell, a farmer residing near the village of Cardiff, in the town of Lafayette, County of Onondaga, commenced to dig a well near his barn. Two workmen were employed, Gideon Emmons and Henry Nichols; Mr. Newell being engaged meanwhile in drawing stone with which to line the well. At the depth of about three feet one of the workmen struck a stone, as he at first supposed. A moment later he thought it a water lime pipe, and asked for an ax with which to break it. Before the ax arrived the foot was partially uncovered, with the exclamation, "I declare, some old Indian has been buried here!" Farther excavation disclosed the entire foot, and a part of the leg. One of the workmen, seeing the direction in which the body lay, dug down just above where he thought the head might be, and his shovel struck the nose. The face and head were soon uncovered, and in a short time the entire figure exposed to view. There then appeared to the few assembled spectators the colossal, well-proportioned form of a human being of the following remarkable


From top of head to instep of sole, ten feet three inches. If standing in a perfectly upright position, the height would be ten feet, seven or eight inches.

Length of head from chin to top of head, twenty-one inches.

Nose, from brow to tip, six inches--across base of nostrils, three and one-half inches.

Mouth four inches.

Shoulders from point to point, three feet.

Circumference of neck thirty-seven inches.

Length of right arm from point of shoulder to end of middle finger, four feet, nine and one-half inches.

Across palm of hand, seven inches.

Length of second finger from knuckle joint, eight inches.

Across wrist, five inches. Distance around thighs, (about half way between knee and thigh joints,) five feet, seven and one-half inches.

Leg, from hip joint to knee joint, three feet; through thigh, one foot; through calf, nine and one-half inches.

Foot, nineteen and one-half inches.

The discovery, as may be supposed, created an immense sensation. Mr. Newell was much perplexed and annoyed and determined at one time to fill up the excavation and keep the discovery from the knowledge of the public. Some years ago a razor was found in a hollow stump near by and suspicions were then thrown out that a murder had been committed. The family feared that the corpse of the murdered man would in some manner confront them through this discovery.

A rush occurred of neighbors and others to see the exhumed wonder, for intelligence of the Giant spread on the wings of the wind. The excitement and ceaseless questions still farther confused the mind of the quiet proprietor and he almost unconsciously consented to various suggestions. One was that the body be raised that day (Saturday,)--consent for which Mr. Newell acknowledges to have given. Ropes were procured and preparations made therefor, but the lateness of the afternoon hour caused its postponement. This is a matter of rejoicing to scientific men, as well as the public generally; for every one naturally wishes to see the Giant as he had slept in his bed for centuries, and for themselves examine the winding sheets he wrapped about him.


The form is lying on its back, the head towards the east and the feet toward the west. The reclining posture is a perfectly natural one, the limbs and feet being slightly drawn up. The figure appears as if a person had fallen there and died. There seem to be evidences of considerable physical anguish in the position of the limbs, of the body, and in the tension of the nerves as well as the contraction of the muscles (which are fully developed.) The right hand rests upon the lower abdomen, and the left is pressed against the back directly opposite. The left foot is thrown partially over the right one, the leg resting partly upon its fellow, but not crossing it. The head is inclined to the right.

The face is the only part seemingly free from traces of the agony of dissolution. The expression is calm, thoughtful, almost sweet. The high, massive forehead sets off with grand, yet benevolent dignity, the well rounded and proportioned features. The countenance is a study. Beautiful despite its immensity, it displays a largeness of kindly feeling not commonly surmised from Fairy tales of Giants and Giant deeds. The spectator gazes upon the grand old sleeper with feelings of admiration and awe. "Nothing like it has ever been seen," say all who have gazed upon it. "It is a great event in our lives to behold it," (is the universal verdict,)--" worth coming hundreds of miles for this alone." "I would not for anything have missed seeing it, for I consider it the greatest natural curiosity of the age," say Geologists, Naturalists, Students and all who can intelligently examine the Onondaga County Wonder.

The increasing interest of the public and the constantly enlarging attendance corroborate the previously expressed opinions of the inestimable value of the discovery, and sanction the verdict that the Cardiff Giant is the great wonder of the Nineteenth Century.


This question has been diligently asked and variously answered. Dr. John F. Boynton, of Syracuse, a celebrated Geologist, went among the first to the scene and examined the figure with much care. His opinion, (which was the first one expressed by any distinguished scientific authority) has been given decidedly that the body is a massive and beautiful statue. His own language will best state his reasons for declining to think it a petrifaction. A letter of his is subjoined, which was kindly furnished by him for publication. The letter was written to one of the most scientific men of America.

SYRACUSE, Oct. 18th, 1869. Henry Morton, Prof. in Pennsylvania University and Franklin Institute:

DEAR SIR:--On Saturday last, some laborers engaged in digging a well on the farm of W.C. Newell, near the village of Cardiff, about 13 miles south of this city, discovered, lying at about three feet below the surface of the earth, what they supposed to be the "petrified body" of a human being, of colossal size. Its length is ten feet and three inches, and the rest of the body is proportionately large. The excitement in this locality over the discovery is immense and unprecedented. Thousands have visited the locality within the last three days, and the general opinion seems to be that the discovery was the "petrified body" of a human being.

I spent most of yesterday and to-day, at the location of the so-called "FOSSIL MAN," and made a survey of the surroundings of the place where this wonderful curiosity was found. On a careful examination, I am convinced that it is not a fossil, but was cut from a piece of stratified sulphate of lime, (known as the Onondaga Gypsum.) If it were pulverized or ground, a farmer would call it plaster. It was quarried, probably, somewhere in this county, from our Gypsum beds. The layers are of different colors--dark and light. The statue was evidently designed to lie on its back,

The American Goliah - 1/10

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